UNDT announces consumer-ready F. tularensis detector

Universal Detection Technology has announced that it has a consumer-ready device to detect Francisella tularensis, which is the bacteria that is responsible for Tularemia infection.

"UDT continues to add products and capabilities to its catalog of biological detection equipment making our military and first responder customers better prepared in dealing with hazardous situations," Jacques Tizabi, CEO of Universal Detection Technology, said. "The Tularemia test device follows in the line of our accurate and easy to use biological detection equipment."

An aerosol dispersal of 50 kilograms of virulent F. tularensis over a metropolitan area with 5 million inhabitants, the World Health Organization reports, would result in 250,000 incapacitating casualties, including 19,000 deaths.

"A weapon using airborne tularemia would likely result three to five days later in an outbreak of acute, undifferentiated febrile illness with incipient pneumonia, pleuritis (inflammation of the lining of the lung) and hilar lymphadenopathy (enlargement of the lymph nodes). Without treatment, the clinical course could progress to respiratory failure, shock and death," the Journal of the American Medical Association reports.

F. tularensis illnesses can last for several weeks and relapses during the ensuing weeks or months are common.

The expected economic impact of an F. tularensis aerosol attack, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, would cost $5.4 billion for every 100,000 persons exposed.